Sunday, December 30

British Night

British Night! Steak & Ale Pie, Mash, and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert! Cheers #pudding #dinner #steakandale #pie #mash #british #england
British Night! Steak & Ale Pie, Mash, and Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert! Cheers #pudding #dinner #steakandale #pie #mash #british #england

Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas from the Traveling Cupcake

It’s been officially one week since I’ve left England, and it has been a bittersweet one at that. Sometimes I find myself zoning out with flashbacks to memories of England, and it doesn’t even feel real; it feels like I dreamed up all these people and none of it really happened. It still is a mix of emotions, I miss everyone terribly, however I’m excited to see my family again and catch up with old friends. Tonight I’m just so thankful to my family for giving me the world. I’m grateful for the wonderful people I met and the incredible things I got to experience while I was abroad :)
Now that I’m home, I can get back to one of my loves: being in the kitchen. I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm since I’ve been back preparing for Christmas. First was a batch of banana muffins for the boys to eat throughout the week. Then I made my traditional homemade doggy treats for the neighborhood dogs: peanut butter bones! Abby has some waiting for her in her stocking in the morning, shh! Next I started the lovely Christmas traditions like Kringlas (a traditional Norwegian bread-like-cookie that’s shaped in an “8” shape), Rice Krispie Wreaths, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Reindeer Treats, Molasses Ginger Cookies and this year Panetone Bread Pudding. It has been a week covered in flour and sugar!

It’s almost midnight and it’s time to get back into the kitchen to start whipping up everything for tomorrow’s marathon of food as well. A huge brunch of egg strata, homemade carmel rolls, raspberry jello salad and mimosas followed by a large dinner of ham, cheesy potatoes, bread, salad, green beans and lots of desserts and hor’d urves too.

Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

I hope you all have a very merry and bright Christmas! Enjoy this holiday season as a time to reflect on the positives of this past year and cherishing the family and friends that have blessed your life. Merry Christmas from the Traveling Cupcake: May your Christmas always be sweet

Thursday, December 20

First Batch of Cookies

First batch of Christmas cookies :) peanut butter blossoms! #christmas #holidays #baking #cookies
First batch of Christmas cookies :) peanut butter blossoms! #christmas #holidays #baking #cookies

Monday, December 17

It's All Coming to an End

I literally thought this day would never get here. Sitting at home in August this felt like it was lightyears away, and yet now I sit in an empty cold room and realize that it’s all come and gone. Four months have flown by quicker than anyone could have ever warned me about. Everyone said to enjoy my time abroad, live it up, experience new things…and I have however I still sit here tonight in awe of everything. It has to be one of the most bittersweet moments of my life: I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time in England. I’ve traveled all around the country (London, Bath, York, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Windsor, Warwick, Stoke, Newcastle, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Chesterfield), I’ve been able to experience so many things I never thought I’d get to do, and I’ve met some of the most wonderful people in the entire world. I love it so much and everything about it, however I’m excited to see my family back home as well. Bittersweet feelings tonight.
Studying abroad is more than just traveling to foreign lands people only dream about and meeting people from different cultures; it’s about figuring out who you are as a person and becoming stronger and independent. I have learned so much more about myself in four months than I have in 21-years of existence and that’s something no one can take away from me. I am stronger than I once was; more independent than I could have imagined; and a better person because of this whole experience.
“Don’t let the fear of leaving the harbor deter you from crossing the ocean”  I was so scared of coming across the pond by myself, I literally almost didn’t get on the plane to arrive. Now I marvel at the fact that I could’ve missed out on this experience, these people, this place…and it amazes me. Don’t be scared to push boundaries and leave your comfort zone, because it is outside of our comfort zone that we learn about ourselves.
So cheers to an incredible adventure from the Traveling Cupcake! It is filled with a million memories that I can’t replace for the world. Here’s to the next chapter of the adventures of the Traveling Cupcake!! 

Monday, December 10

Mumford & Sons Concert !!

Guess who got to see Mumford & Sons in concert…in England?! Yes, this girl right here. Holy cow, it was literally one of the most surreal things ever. They sound absolutely incredible; they sounded just like they do on their CD. Within the first half hour they played all of my favorites: I Will Wait, Winter Winds, Roll Away Your Stone, Awake My Soul, Babel, and Sigh No More!! It was a great great night :) Plus I got to see them in ENGLAND!!! What?!

Saturday, December 8

Liverpool with the gang #liverpool #england #travel #studyabroad
Liverpool with the gang #liverpool #england #travel #studyabroad

Saturday, December 1

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Happy December everybody! I can’t believe December is already here, it’s scary how quickly it comes ever year. It’s starting to feel like Christmas and the holiday season around here, as the village has put up the Christmas lights, campus has Christmas music playing on the radio, and Starbucks has brought out the top guns of eggnog latte and gingerbread! Yum!
I’ve been trying to get into the festive spirit although I am away from home and my family. My friend Yasmin took me to Emma Bridgewater, a pottery shop in The Potteries to paint our own piece of pottery! She said I could not visit the potteries without painting a piece :) The shop was absolutely precious: it was decorated for Christmas and had some of our favorite Christmas carols which we, of course, had to sing to!
Yesterday my friend, Alana, and I completed another British Bucket List item off my list: See ”A Christmas Carol” in England. We went into Newcastle-under-Lyme to the New Vic Theater for the matinee performance of A Christmas Carol and it was absolutely brilliant! It was theater in the round, so it was incredibly intimate and cozy. We sat in the balcony and had such a neat viewpoint of the stage. The singing was fabulous, the music was lovely, and the actor’s all did incredible. It totally got us into the Christmas spirit!